Grant Money Being Offered To Small Farms: Recommendations Now Being Taken

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The FruitGuys Community Fund provides small grants (up to $5,000) to small farms and agricultural nonprofits for sustainability projects that have large positive impacts on the environment, local food systems, and farm diversity.

Please find the application here


The FruitGuys Community Fund, established in 2012 as a non-profit fiscally sponsored project of Community Initiatives, grew out of The Farm Steward Program at The FruitGuys, a national fruit distribution company based in South San Francisco. Between 2008 and 2011, the Farm Steward Program gave grants to small farms for environmental sustainability efforts. In 2013, the Community Fund awarded its first five grants to farms in California and Pennsylvania; In 2014, eight grants were awarded to farms in Wisconsin, Illinois, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and California. In 2015, eight grants were awarded to farms in California, Maryland, Illinois, and New Jersey. To learn more about the farms and projects selected, see our website (



Our mission is to support small independent American farms in their efforts for greater environmental and economic health, community engagement, and advocacy that supports sustainable agriculture. We believe that small farms are catalysts for environmental and economic self sufficiency, sustainability, and food access. Independent farmers can lead their communities as models of self-reliance and land stewardship. It is our vision that “from a small seed, the world can be sustained.” This underlies our core belief in funding projects that make an impact beyond the farm, which is valuable not just for the farmer but for the world at large.



Grants in amounts ranging from $2,000-$5,000 will be awarded in Spring 2016. Preference will be given to applicants within 250 miles of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago, or Phoenix. Projects to be considered should help farms and/or orchards operate more sustainably, both environmentally and economically, as well as strengthen community outreach. Some examples of sustainability projects may include (but are not limited to): planting of cover crops to help with water management and soil fertility; planting pollinator-attracting perennials and/or installing bee hives; installation of bat boxes or owl boxes to attract predators and keep rodent numbers down; installation of high tunnels or hoop houses to extend the growing season.


1. Farm is located within 250 miles of San Francisco, CA, Los Angeles, CA, Philadelphia, PA, Chicago, IL, or Phoenix, AZ.

2. Sustainability project is focused on one of the areas mentioned in our Sustainable Farming Manifesto, including but not limited to:

  • Water Conservation (for example, drip irrigation & water catchment)
  • Natural Pest Control (for example, owl or bat boxes)
  • Pollination (for example, beehives & pollinator hedgerows)
  • Soil Health (for example, cover crops & hoop houses)
  • Energy Efficiency (for example, renewable energy options like solar, geothermal & wind)

For more information, see our complete Sustainable Farming Manifesto on our website or follow the link:(

3. Farm participates in some efforts to increase low-income consumers’ access to food.


  • Land purchases
  • Projects that require a percentage of the award be used for consultants or administrative work
  • A startup operation. The applicant farm must be an established working farm that is looking to develop or improve their operation.
  • Grant requests or projects that are dependent on receiving funding from a larger grant.


Grant applications are due by midnight PST, Monday, February 15, 2016. Projects should be completed by December 1, 2016.

  1. Applicant is an owner/operator of the farm or has long-term, legal access to the land. If farming on leased land, a letter of support from the landowner specifying length of the lease agreement must be provided with the grant application.
  2. 2. Farm is small to medium-sized as determined by acreage in agricultural production.
  3. 3. Community outreach. Farmer will engage in community outreach, education, or policy advocacy surrounding sustainable agriculture. Engagement must be described in the grant proposal. Up to 10% of the total grant amount awarded may be used to support efforts for community outreach, education, and/or advocacy (see question 6 of the grant application, below).


Grant funds will be awarded in two installments: The first, equaling 75% of the grant awarded, will be sent to the applicant in Spring 2016. The remaining 25% of funds will be dispersed following submission of a final progress report, due by December 12, 2016, and successful completion of the project. Three progress reports are required: An interim progress report (1-2 pages) with updates and recent photos (or video) must be submitted by August 26, 2016; a final progress report to be submitted by December 12, 2016; and an alumni update report, due one year from the grant receipt, must be submitted by April 28, 2017. Reporting forms will be emailed to all grant recipients after grants are announced.


This year's grant applications should be submitted using this Google Form.

If required, please also send via email attachment to

  • Letter of support from landowner
  •  Status of permit applications
  1. Incomplete applications, or those not meeting the requirements stated above, will not be reviewed.
  2. All applicants will receive notification if their grant was accepted or rejected by Spring 2016.
  3. If submitting via Google Forms is a challenge, email submissions will be accepted.
  4. Questions may be sent to

If You Are Interested In Submitting An Application Click Here For Google Doc Format

via TheFruitGuys





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